Which Solar Panel Technology is the Best?
If you are moving in the direction of renewable energy, a solar system is going to be your first choice. A major component of the solar system is the set of panels thatcan capture sun rays and then convert light energy into electricity using the principle of photovoltaic effect.
Like most of the things in the market today there are different type of solar panels with different efficiencies and applications.
The three main types of solar panel technologies are Monocrystalline, Polycrystalline and Thin Film. The thin film solar panels are popular with industrial applications and are no longer used for residential purposes. Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline are the main types of technologies found across Australia.
Monocrystalline Solar Panels
This type of panelis considered by some as the Rolls Royce equivalent of the industry and is a favourite among house owners in Australia. It is considered the best solar panels Brisbane homeowners prefer due to the hot weather in the region. This technology is one of the oldest types and is comparatively more expensive due to its high-efficiency rating.
Usually a monocrystalline panel has an efficiency rating of around 15 to 20 percent in real life situations that means it can convert between 16 to 21 percent of the incident sun rays into electricity.
The production process is quite pleasing to watch. Each cell is made up of a single pure silicon crystal which are usually wine bottle sized and then layered like salami to make individual wafers. The 4 corners of these wafers are cut to produce the monocrystalline cell.
These individual cells are combined with wires that collect the converted electricity and this entire set up I called a solar panel.
Polycrystalline or Multicrystalline Solar Panels
This type of panels is also made using silicon but a less purified version when compared to the monocrystalline panels. Rather than single crystals for each cell, as the name suggests a cell from the polycrystalline panels has multiple siliconcrystals cast into blocks and then cut to shape.
The colour and shape of the cells are quite different and can be easily distinguished.
In terms of performance, efficiency is lower in multicrystalline panels due to the low purity of the silicon used. To overcome this difference in efficiency what manufacturers do is that they don’t cut the corners of the cell like in polycrystalline cells so that there is more surface area to absorb sunlight.
Thin Film Solar Panels
While Poly and Monocrystalline panels are manufactured in a similar way with minor differences, thin film panels are completely different. The surface of the panel is sprayed with a silicon film.
Due to this efficiency isn’t the best and you usually need to install a lot of panels together to achieve considerable performance. This is best suited for industrial applications.
When it comes down to picking the best technology both Mono and Polycrystalline panels are quite similar and the final question is how you want your roof to look.